Concerts, festivals and other large events could be called off this summer. Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged organizers to “think seriously” about cancellations as restrictions could still be in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“Until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away, I would not risk having large groups of people getting together anywhere,” Pritzker said at this daily briefing Thursday. “And I think that’s hard for everybody to hear, but that’s just a fact.”
However, Pritzker also said there’s early evidence that the growth rate of new cases Illinois is slowing. Public health officials are monitoring the data daily. Still, the governor said the stay-at-home order, which took effect in March and was extended to May 1 last week, will likely not be lifted early.
“Unlike what some have said at the federal level, it isn't going to be that all of a sudden you're going to drop the stay-at-home and every other restriction,” Pritzker said, making the point that even when the order is lifted, it could take time until all restrictions are eased because there is a chance that the virus will surge again, leading to more hospitalizations and deaths.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reports the total confirmed cases tops 16,000, and deaths number 528.